Thursday 20th June at 9pm
This film unravels the little known story of Cuba’s involvement in Africa during the independence and post-independence periods, when the continent was used as a battleground on which the tensions between the United States and The Soviet Union were played out.
The film, directed by Egyptian filmmaker and former Reuters correspondent Jihan El-Tahri, was originally produced for French and German television.
Beginning with Nelson Mandela’s first foreign visit after freedom (to Cuba) the film asks, why does an international icon of freedom make this visit to see Fidel Castro and pay homage to a country that many feel limits the freedom of its own citizens? The viewers is then taken back to the start of Cuba’s long engagement with Africa from 1961 onwards, beginning with independence in the Congo, and the subsequent assassination of Patrice Lumumba by the United States CIA. Intriguing interviews with some of the key figures of this period illuminate the narrative, including Fidel Castro, Larry Devlin (the CIA officer in the Congo during the 1960s) and Pik Botha (the former South African Foreign Minister).
This documentary has been recognised with several prestigious awards at film festivals, including Vues d’Afrique de Montréal 2007, Sunny Side of the Docs, Marseille 2006 and FESPACO 2007.
France (2007) dir. Jihan El-Tahri